The food culture in Sicily is a testament of centuries of different influences that the island had to experience: olives, eggs and almonds brought by Greeks, spices brought by the Arabs and so on. A more specific feature is the fitting relationship between the sweet and the salty, an inheritance of the Arab cuisine. There are a lot of typical dishes in the islander cuisine, all at the same time savory and refined, provocative and traditional. A generous sun gives fruits intense savors while the sea offers a great fishing variety. These excellent ingredients are all part of sumptuous dishes. Not to mention the pastry making, whether it is drought or creamy, a true and real celebration of colors and sweetness.
Even against the backdrop of foodie Italy, Sicily stands out for its gastronomic traditions. While other regions of Italy are famous for their parma ham, parmesan and buffalo mozzarella, this is the land of aubergines, pistachios and almonds. Cooking traditions originating from the Greeks, Arabs and Normans blend with those from Spain, Greece and North Africa resulting in a fabulous melting pot of flavours and unique dishes.
It all started in Syracuse where several dishes that are still popular today found their way into the first cook book. Food such as caponata, a slowly-cooked vegetable-based casserole with aubergines, raisins, olives and pine nuts and a distinct sweet and sour taste, originated from these times. In the following years, the introduction of rice, citrus fruits, couscous, brown sugar, cinnamon and saffron by the Arabs added sophistication and ice-cream and sherbet (made out of the snow from Etna) crept into the repertoire.